We are all human and most of us talk before we think. I know that sometimes my filter between my mouth and brain has big holes in it. But I have also found that most of those times it's because I am telling someone something they don't want to hear. It's this magical little thing called the truth. Usually when I don't want to smack them upside the head with the truth I just avoid them. Some people are like Tom Cruise in a A Few Good Men, remember, "You can't handle the truth." Let's face it sometimes the truth is hard to swallow. I am thankful for growing up in a very honest and direct family. We are fully aware we can hurt your feelings, but we are being honest with you because we love you. Lies hurt so much more than the truth. I tell our girls that once you tell one lie, then you have to pile it up with lies and before you know it the truth doesn't exist anymore. I have also told them lies hurt twelve times more than the truth. If you lie to me then our trust is broken and how can I ever trust you again. In our house you are punished double if you are caught in a lie. I would rather you rip my band-aid and let's deal with the issue then cover it up and hope it works out. In the past, I was a little bit more cautious. Since January 22, my patience have become non-existent unless you are Chaz or one of our girls and sometimes I don't have patience for them.
Caring for a wounded warrior is beyond a full time job. In so many ways it parallels back to having a baby. I joke around that I traded the stroller in for a wheelchair. And that I now carry a medical bag instead of a diaper bag. But seriously this is not a joke, this is my life now. When I first got to Chaz he was dependent on me for everything. He used to run nurses off, because they didn't do anything right. Yes that was the meds talking (sometimes). I joked with him that I felt like he was a brand new baby. He just slept, ate and pooped. Then we got to the coo and goo stage and I got to talk and be silly with him for a bit more each day. Then when he started walking again he made me then of the girls when they started to walk. Now he's to a place that he still needs me for all of his daily living activities, but he gains more independence everyday. Unfortunately he will always need me for the rest of our lives. It's a great thing that I like him so much, because otherwise this could be a problem. ;)
You may be thinking aww poor Jessica this has to be so hard. You know what, it is. My hubby is 31 and is currently learning how to make the world adjust to his needs. But you know what I am so lucky I have it so easy. Chaz is doing remarkably well and he has me and I have him. We make one heck of a team. We could also have so many more disability and health issues. Then to make it even better, our girls are 8 and 6 and thank goodness I can sit and talk with them and they can understand. There are wives here with brand new babies and little toddlers. I admire them for what they are doing. The road we are all on is so unpredictable and crazy. These ladies are raising babies too. Wow! I am just homeschooling our kids, I have it easy! Plus I have enough optimism, strength and faith for all four of us and that also makes everything easier. We are in really good shape.
Here at WRAMC we are in this little wounded warrior bubble. We are dealing with war everyday here. But civilians, God love you, some of you are freaking clueless and you need to wake up. Please for the love of all things holy, stop listening to everything the media says. We are still at war. We have soldiers getting killed and wounded everyday. The media doesn't tell you this because America got bored with the story. The media only talks about what sells. (I know there are some really awesome news persons (I am related to one) out there, but I am examining the majority not the minority). Unfortunately what sells is what is going on with celebrities or what disaster is going on now. I personally don't care about the celebrities, but I do care about what is going on in the world and these wars are part of that and need to have more attention.
This morning I recalled this great book I read in college called Tell-Tale Hearts. No not Edgar Allan Poe's poem, although I'll explain that parallel in a minute. In this book the author talks about Vietnam. He talks about how Vietnam was like a good beer. We found it and really liked it and wanted more of it. But we didn't pop the top off of it. Then unfortunately we shook it up a little too much and then we sat it down. Since I highly enjoy beer I can understand that this is not how we treat our beer and once we finally popped the top of that bottle that beer is going to be pretty freaking gross. Then he also said Vietnam was like Poe's poem. We did something wrong and tried to stuff it under the floor boards but that heart beat just kept banging in our ears and finally we ripped up those floor boards and took a look at what we did.
This morning I realized that Iraq and Afghanistan are so similar to Vietnam. The only difference is we understand and respect our soldiers a hell of a lot more then we did then. Thank you to the Veterans before us who taught us this very important lesson. I am proud to be an American, but I am getting pretty darn tired of meeting new wounded warriors. I am tired of helping people go through this process and I am tiring of finding out that someone else was killed over there. I am happy to do it, because I can make someone's life easier by sharing our experiences. God blessed me with people who helped us and I am grateful to pay it forward, but I wish I didn't have to.
Our girls have known nothing but war and deployments. I don't know about you but that's not the environment I wanted to raise them in. After 9/11 I rallied around the flag like every other patriot (only difference is I never threw out my Dixie Chicks CDs). I supported our government and all of it's decisions. I knew that meant I would have to give Chaz up to fight and I knew the possible consequences. When I met Chaz he wanted to spend 20 years in the Army and still does today. I will always support him and all of our Armed Services, but I guess know I want an explanation for why we are at war still. I want justification for all of these guys. I am ready for our leaders to rip those floor boards up and tell us why and I want them to drink that beer.
Is this going to happen today, probably not. I am just another ticked off wounded warrior wife who wants answers. I do know that this is God's plan. I have made my peace with that. God has put our family on this path for a reason and He will reveal all of it in his time. I walk in faith everyday and know He is watching over us. I know that our family will live happily ever after. We started that February 23, 2001 when we said "I do." That happily ever after still continues, it's just our lives have just been altered a little. I am just so thankful that my Mom gave me the knowledge of faith and hope. Without that knowledge there's no way we could win the wars we face everyday. Please keep us in your prayers and pray the other families find their paths as well.